Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2007

More Fallout from Liberal Avenger Comment Alteration Non-Scandal

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 6:45 am



Reaction to the posts about Liberal Avenger altering comments on his site:

Cathy Young says that it “should be a blogosphere scandal but isn’t, for some reason.” Young concludes:

Liberal Avenger’s “prank” is not only juvenile, unethical, and offensive; it is also dangerous to blog discourse. If people know that a blog administrator can tamper with comments at will, it could have a truly chilling effect on speech in the blogosphere. Any blogger, liberal or conservative, should take this very seriously indeed.

Taking the opposite view is Ilyka Damen at Pandagon, who mocks the notion that this is a serious issue:

It has come to my attention that some no-good liberal bloggers have been editing comments posted by people who annoy them. This is absolutely unconscionable and must stop immediately.

I’m really upset about this. I am astonished that such deceit could be countenanced anywhere, let alone on the internet. Goodness gracious! Where’s the integrity?

As evidence that this is no big deal, Damen approvingly cites the habits of commenters at Sadly, No!, who regularly post embarrassing comments under the name Ann Althouse.

So there are your opposing viewpoints.

79 Responses to “More Fallout from Liberal Avenger Comment Alteration Non-Scandal”

  1. The “liberals” don’t want discourse, they want an echo chamber. They aren’t really tolerant of differing opinions, let alone world views and philosophies (though I don’t think it’s valid to say they have a philosophy, not for some time now. More like a collection of myths, fantasies, and mental disorders)

    larry (336e87)

  2. Have you noticed that whenever the behavior of commenters is questioned you get a response along the lines of “Well, we can’t police or be responsible or be said to endorse every view left by some unknown commenter!”

    Well, NOW the rationale is it “This is perfectly acceptable because commenters do it.”

    Me thinks they do not square logic-wise, or common sense-wise etc.

    Hypocrite-wise, however, it’s spot on.

    Rich Horton (8018ee)

  3. She picked a great time to jump on board Pandagon, huh? Good to see she’s able to rise to their rigorous intellectual standards.

    kl (15574e)

  4. In my opinion:

    People with integrity think that editing someone’s comments in this way is always bad behavior.

    People without integrity think that editing someone’s comments in this way is just fine, unless it is done to someone that they actually agree with.

    Bill Roper (7a3469)

  5. It’s a sobering, cautionary tale.

    On the earlier thread, LiberalAvenger.com’s apologists offered two apologias for their practice of twisting commenters’ words into smut.

    First is the pornographer’s defense: “I’ve associated my name with explicit, degrading material, so why are you getting your panties in a knot when we do the same to you?”

    Second is the arrogance of the self-righeous: “Since the commenter in question showed his evil heart by disagreeing with us, he deserves anything we pull on him.”

    If LiberalAvenger.com ran an online bookstore, they’d post the credit card numbers of any customers who bought titles the webmasters didn’t like.

    This has nothing to do with liberal/conservative issues. It’s a reminder that certain seemingly-functional people have no ethics, and no sense of shame.

    AMac (c822c9)

  6. So there are your opposing viewpoints. One accepts that there is an absolute truth – that a post was altered and that this matters, that this may be wrong. The other rejects absolute truth – a post, a blog, everything is there to manipulate other people. Truth is what they say it is at the moment, there is no other animal. There is no reason not to alter a post because there is no reason.

    There are no surprises here.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  7. I dunno, I found this bit by Ilyka comical.

    [Ilyka adds: And this is an extremely obnoxious habit of his. Nothing any blogger has to say is so important it requires a MID-COMMENT BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.]

    Looks like an idiotic cheap shot to me. Doesn’t almost every blogger put comments in to another’s post where is is obviously appropriate? Oh, wait, I see, its a “mid-comment update”

    Sorry, we had to interupt this blog with the bloggers comment….

    G (722480)

  8. Wow. I missed that he admitted doing it. What a piece of human sewage.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  9. Without telling how it’s done, our blogs are not tamper proof, especially those hosted by Blogger. Text can be altered and since most of us rarely read our own shit more than once or twice, we don’t notice it until people email us either with notification or total rage. I have had to just flat delete a few posts that are a basic fiction.

    Comments are easy to mess with on almost every server. I don’t know the answers, only the questions. Perhaps we should all publish a warning to readers, but that might brand ourselves as unreliable.

    Duke (4ba8d4)

  10. WashingtonMonthly has changed links I’ve left there, rendering them inoperable. I assume it’s some intern, and Drum tells me it “probably” won’t happen again.

    TLB (cc42f6)

  11. Speaking of links not working, the Pandagon link came up seriously broken for me.

    But without reading it, Damen is wrong. It’s one thing to post original material under a fictitious name like Anne Althouse. Even serious material–the Federalist were originally a series of pseudonymous letters. That’s only continuing a long tradition that’s been around since the Elizabethans, if not before. But altering material posted by another person, even if that alteration were to reflect creditably on the original author is a totally different matter.

    kishnevi (7a9e8b)

  12. What sort of penance do you folks think I should do?

    Would you like me to apologize to Jamail Hussein on your collective behalf for destroying his life in a war zone?

    [Would you please explain specifically how any blogger has done that? — P]

    Maybe you guys could pass a plate to raise some money for one of the firebombed-yet-not-actually-destroyed mosques in Baghdad, and I could deliver it on your behalf and help them rebuild?

    [Crazy idea: apologize and don’t do it again. And stop lying. — P]

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  13. “I could deliver it on your behalf and help them rebuild?”

    yeah, i’m sure you’re willing to got to Iraq.

    G (722480)

  14. If the issue is altering comments then your wrath should be directed at Tom Maguire of Just One Minute as well. Back in December 2005 he edited Balloon Juice regular DougJ’s comments. You can read about it here.
    This is from the B-J comments:

    DougJ Says:

    Here’s the best part of the whole thing. Tom Maguire himself, king of Plamegate, respected right-winger (I respected him before, anyway) edited one of my comments.

    He

    changed

    “You’re all nice people, but spend too much time watching Fox News and reading Newsmax.”

    to

    “But I’m a juvenile a** hole with too much free time and no employer’s interested in my GED degree.”

    Real classy of him. Isn’t that some sort of a breach of “blogger ethics.”

    I don’t think Liberal Avenger or Tom Maguire should have edited comments like that but if doing that kind of thing is as bad as you claim then you need to take Maquire to the woodshed too.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  15. It was a stupid and scummy thing to do, but whether this should be a “blogosphere scandal” depends on how widely-read the Liberal Avenger blog is.

    Moops (8fcb37)

  16. I’m pretty sure its been covered here at this blog that they disprove of changing somebodies post, regardless on what political leanings there are. But thats a good example.

    G (722480)

  17. “What sort of penance do you folks think I should do?

    Go away.

    kl (15574e)

  18. What sort of penance do you folks think I should do?

    It’s not penance. It’s responsibility. You can apologize. You can promise not to do it again. You can say, as my son recently did, that was stupid and I don’t know why I did it. I could respect that, I’ve done stupid things too.

    Instead you just cloud the air with red herrings. Pathetic, but typically liberal. Stuck on stupid.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  19. Oh, I’m not sorry for anything I did.

    My apology would ring hollow.

    Why are wingnuts flailing about, trying to find new directions towards which they can focus their ire?

    How’s that Iraq war going, folks?

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  20. The Liberal Avenger’s increasingly asinine comments have the makings of a “New Yorker” cartoon.

    Small child next to a broken lamp, looking at parents: “What is the significance of a broken lamp, next to the ongoing war in Iraq?”

    Or a Photoshop of Jeffrey Dahmer w/ the comment balloon: What are the deaths of a few children next to the deaths in Iraq by Chimpy McHalliburton?

    That what TLA did was despicable (there’s a reason that child molestors are kept away from General Population) is waved off dismissively by his ilk and defenders. That it was also hurtful is even less relevant (cf. MacSwain)

    So, yes, TLA, your apology would ring hollow, b/c, as your own comments show, they’d be insincere.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  21. “How’s that Iraq war going, folks?”

    How’s your “life” going? You spend way too much time trolling Internet sites, and it shows in your obsessive psychology. You should ask someone to help you find more meaningful ways to spend your time. There’s more to life than spamming gratuitous abuse.

    Federal Dog (9afd6c)

  22. Bluye Neponset #14 wrote —

    “If the issue is altering comments then your wrath should be directed at Tom Maguire of Just One Minute as well. Back in December 2005 he edited Balloon Juice regular DougJ’s comments.

    I just followed your links. The situation is not analogous, though FWIW I agree that Rick Ballard (not Maguire AFAICT) was wrong to put words in DougJ’s mouth. But that was a case of admitted guerilla theater on DougJ’s part. An interesting story in its own way, but I’d prefer my 10 minutes back instead.

    AMac (c822c9)

  23. “How’s that Iraq war going, folks?”

    It’d be better without the anti-war movement.

    G (722480)

  24. Actually the war is going much better since the “surge.” Why don’t you read Micheal Yon? He’s there.

    About the only thing you can say about liberal avenger is (if he ever had any) he no longer has any credibility and from here on he should be mocked, ridiculed, and marginalized at every opportunity.

    Capitalist Infidel (fffac6)

  25. I think if the allies were to blow the mosques housing insurgents into tiny, tiny bits of powder, and take a few insurgents and cover them in pigs blood before beheading them and posting the film on youtube and CNN, I would just bet the conflict would suddenly reduce in intensity.

    Realist (5c264d)

  26. People still go to Pandagon and read their crap??

    DirtCrashr (1fe719)

  27. As long we’re on the topic of editing someone’s comments, what do people think of Patterico’s technique of replying to someone’s comment by writing within their comment?

    Personally, I think it’s obnoxious. Of course, it’s not even in the same ballpark as the “liberal avenger comment alteration” kerfluffle, but still, it strikes me as annoying. I doubt anyone appreciates having their post chopped up by an italicized opponent – especially when they don’t get to do it in return.

    As I write this I have no idea whether my Patterico will post little snarky comments – I’d rather that he just responded to my post with a separate comment like most blogs do. Just something to consider Patterico, maybe it doesn’t bug people.

    Justin (dc3309)

  28. Actually the war is going much better since the “surge.”

    You mean the surge that’s barely started?

    Moops (8fcb37)

  29. On LA’s site:

    The abuse thread
    Feb 16th at 7:21 pm by LA

    This is the thread wherein anybody who thinks I was terribly evil for making it appear that “carlitos” had impregnated his dear sister in 8th grade and that he was thankful that safe, legal abortion was available at the time, else who knows what sort of life he and his sis might have been subjected to can post telling me how horrible and predictably liberal I am.

    Have fun!

    Dana (9cd016)

  30. LA wrote:

    Oh, I’m not sorry for anything I did.

    My apology would ring hollow.

    Well, that is, at least, an honest answer. He said that he wasn’t sorry, and that he won’t issue a phony apology. Guess he learned something from Tim Hardaway.

    Dana (9cd016)

  31. Kishnevi wrote:

    Speaking of links not working, the Pandagon link came up seriously broken for me.

    Pandagon announced earlier today that they were switching hosting services, and that the site would be down from earlier this afternoon until well into Saturday.

    Dana (9cd016)

  32. Justin, Pat’s move of appending his comments to certain comments doesn’t bother me, and can, in a way, be useful: it’s easier to see to what he is responding.

    Dana (9cd016)

  33. Liberal Avenger’s “prank” is not only juvenile, unethical, and offensive

    We can add self righteous to the list – I’m not sorry for anything I did

    How’s that Iraq war going, folks?
    A lot better than your red herrings.

    Amphipolis (fb9e95)

  34. Dana – as an occasional reader/lurker, I agree with you. Getting Patterico’s response to a post all within one post is kind of handy and can make for entertaining reading.

    I think that if you’re an active participant – especially one that’s disagreeing with the host – you might feel different about having to go up against the omnipotent italics. As long as we’re talking about the ethics of editing someone’s comments, there’s a case to be made that doing ANY alteration to a comment, even appending commentary (even appending friendly commentary), is messing with the original comment. It does affect the original writer’s message in some way.

    Whether or not anyone cares is another issue… As I’ve already said, I’d rather have my post left alone.

    Justin (dc3309)

  35. The great irony of Liberal Avenger … is that both his actions and his attitude are the polar opposite of what liberals claim to believe.

    A true liberal would value discussion between opposing viewpoints, would cherish the free marketplace of ideas, and would choose persuasion over mockery.

    Liberalism is supposed to be about freedom. What LiberalAvenger did was the opposite of freedom, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

    He is, of course, free to do so. Ironically enough. But his lack of self-awareness and his rank hypocrisy are interesting.

    But what’s most fascinating is that he seems to miss the fact that the only one really hurt … is him.

    I don’t know him. I don’t know his politics, or his site.

    But I do now know that he has no integrity, that he is intellectually dishonest, and that he is for some reason incapable of actually discussing the issues.

    He hurt himself. Not very smart. By extension, he made those who think like him look bad. And by further extension, he made the entire blogosphere look far less important.

    He’s not a serious person. Period. And apparently not very smart, if he’s missing all of the above obviousness.

    PP (c65bfa)

  36. Ilyka Damen is now only bothered by things that Amanda tells her to be bothered by.

    Consider it a lengthy pledge period.

    Jeff G (6ce048)

  37. Pandagon announced earlier today that they were switching hosting services, and that the site would be down from earlier this afternoon until well into Saturday.

    QUICK! Surge the patriarchy!

    Phil K. (a2d44d)

  38. What sort of penance do you folks think I should
    do?

    Personally, I’d like to see you commit seppuku for the 100+ million who
    died because of an ideology you support – collectivism. ‘Cause that has
    as much to do with the current topic of conversation as any of the
    misinformed garbage that followed your opening sentence.

    If you’re offended by the previous comment, well, I was joking.

    If you take it seriously – well, obviously you take
    yourself too seriously.

    Hey – it’s fun to be a progressive; no accountability!!

    “Look over there – Iraq!! Now don’t you conservatives feel bad about
    yourselves?”

    And I would go over to your blog and tell you this on *your* bandwidth, but I’m not keen on having my comments “improved” by you or your apple dumpling gang.

    It’s an integrity thing, you wouldn’t understand.

    Abraxas (db3144)

  39. “what sort of penance do you folks think i should do?”
    dammit, abraxas got there first. ritual suicide is the only way you can salvage your lost honor. post a final death poem on your blog, dress in your white suit, shirt and tie, kneel down on your tatami and slash your belly with a large, razor-sharp knife, first left-to-right, then bottom-to-top, all the way from your groin to your sternum, and feel the power of redemption as your steaming guts tumble out in front of you.

    assistant devil's advocate (c15808)

  40. Please excuse me, but I have nothing to write on the matter at hand.

    larry,

    The issue of echo chambers isn’t unique to liberals or any ideology. Human beings as a rule (and this includes myself of course) like their viewpoints reinforced.

    ________________________________

    kishnevi,

    But altering material posted by another person, even if that alteration were to reflect creditably on the original author is a totally different matter.

    Your comment reminds of the likely efforts to modify the writings of Josephus. This isn’t a comment on the current issue, more a statement about the long pedigree that the alteration of texts has.

    Rostrum (39fc86)

  41. Justin wrote:

    As long as we’re talking about the ethics of editing someone’s comments, there’s a case to be made that doing ANY alteration to a comment, even appending commentary (even appending friendly commentary), is messing with the original comment. It does affect the original writer’s message in some way.

    Depends. The last comment I edited on my site was simply to insert paragraph breaks. The original was good, but was poorly formatted, and thus made harder to read. I don’t think I altered the original message, and I did note the changes I had made.

    Dana (556f76)

  42. Pretty much every publication that published letters of comment prior to the web could reasonably be expected to edit their letter column and the letters in it. Why bloggers and blog readers got the idea that this was evil I don’t understand.

    When you post your prose on someone else’s site (like I’m doing right now) you hand over control. This is one of the reasons why trolling is a really BAD idea.

    Perhaps someone should write up a Troll’s Bill of Rights so the rest of us can make fun of it.

    Kathryn Cramer (ce63af)

  43. Oh, I’m not sorry for anything I did.

    My apology would ring hollow.

    Why are wingnuts flailing about, trying to find new directions towards which they can focus their ire?

    How’s that Iraq war going, folks?

    Liberal Avenger, your position seems to be that since the Iraq war is going badly, then any breach of ethics by you is acceptable.

    Tell me: if the Iraq war were going well, would it still be okay for you to alter a comment the way you did? Would it be okay for you to lie about it?

    If there were no war in Iraq at all, would it be okay? How about if Kerry had won in 2004?

    If you can use your dissatisfaction with the world’s political landscape to justify intellectual dishonesty, what else can you justify?

    Steverino (937639)

  44. Pretty much every publication that published letters of comment prior to the web could reasonably be expected to edit their letter column and the letters in it. Why bloggers and blog readers got the idea that this was evil I don’t understand

    Are you really this dense, Kathryn? Do you not understand the difference?

    A letters column (presumably for a magazine or newspaper) tells you in advance that your letters might be editted to fit in the available space. But, to my knowledge, no magazine or newspaper would edit the content of a letter to make it look like the writer had an incestuous relationship with his sister.

    There is a huge difference between editting for run length and changing the meaning of someone you find disagreeable.

    If you can’t see that difference, then you are dumber than a sack of wet hair.

    Steverino (937639)

  45. Liberal Avenger is one reason why Americans need their own ‘Samizdat’ to overcome Liberal’s groupthink doublespeak vengence.

    syn (7faf4d)

  46. Steverino has it exactly right. The paper I work at edits letters for space, and at times has to remove libelous statements, etc. But inserting made-up stuff to ridicule the author is unethical. Anyone pulling that stunt at our paper would be fired, and most papers would do the same.

    The credibility of Liberal Avenger just went down the toilet.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  47. syn,

    From the wiki article on “samizdat” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samizdat):

    Samizdat (Russian: самиздат, Polish: Bibuła or drugi obieg) was the clandestine copying and distribution of government-suppressed literature or other media in Soviet-bloc countries. Copies were made a few at a time, and those who received a copy would be expected to make more copies. This was often done by handwriting or typing. This grassroots practice to evade officially imposed censorship was fraught with danger as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials.

    Samizdat concerns itself with official censorship.

    Rostrum (39fc86)

  48. The power to edit letters traditionally has been used to make perfectly reasonable letters into nut letters at the editors’ whim.

    Doesn’t anyone remember the art of writing letters to the editor? You had to write them so they still made the kind of sense you intended no matter how hostilly they were edited.

    I guess I’m showing my age (44). But no, newspaper editors did not announce in advance that they would edit letters to make people who disagreed with them look like fools; rather, they just did it, and maybe still do. And no, I’m not talking about my own LoCs. I remember this from before I was old enough to comment myself.

    Kathryn Cramer (ce63af)

  49. Kathryn, a citation please? We are talking about a newspaper that took a letter and:

    * added in text about an author’s incestuous relatonship with his sister, then

    * when called on it, denied that they had done so, then

    * offered a parade of justifications for having done so, then

    * refused to apologize as it was the right thing to do.

    If it turns out that you don’t actually have an instance in mind (and can’t readily Google one up), does that make it okay if Patterico slips some text into your comments to make you appear depraved or idiotic?

    AMac (c822c9)

  50. Kathryn, of course, is flatly wrong. It’s never been “traditionally” journalistically acceptable to deliberately edit letters to make them look nonsensical. Sometimes letters are unintentionally butchered by the editor, sometimes they are senseless to begin with. But malicious editing has always been considered wrong.

    Of course, the 44-year-old Kathryn may have more newspaper experience than yours truly, who is 48 and has been a reporter on seven newspapers. In that case I defer to her superior newspaper credentials.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  51. My va-jay-jay is stinky. And it hurts.

    Ilyka Damen (6c2edb)

  52. Me too, Ilyka. Leopold likes it rough.

    Liberal Avenger (6c2edb)

  53. Kathryn, I’m the same age as you, and I have written a few letters to the editor in my day. I can’t recall a single instance of a letter of mine being edited in a way that deliberately altered the content.

    Cathy Young (8754b0)

  54. It’s just seems odd to me that Liberal Avenger and SGO won’t even begin to grapple with the principle in question while at the same time they still are attempting to take part in the discussion. If they were so confident of their position, so confident that it doesn’t deserve elucidation, wouldn’t they remain silent? See, what bothers me, is that they aren’t even attempting to convince anyone that their position is the more just, they’re just throwing poop. Is it a guilty conscience that causes them to continue to stir the pot?

    See, on The Liberal Avenger, anyone who disagrees with orthodoxy is, more often than not, labeled a troll. By a troll, they mean someone who isn’t serious, whose opinions aren’t to be taken seriously, who can be mocked, whose comments can be defaced, who are just plain wrong full stop. While they themselves engage in trollish behavior, often defacing their own threads on their own blog in the process, it’s not the same in some fundamental aspect, if only because they’re right and those they abuse are wrong.

    If they took a moment to look at what they write, how they comment, and how there are treated in comparison to how others are treated on their blog, they would be shocked on how closely their behavior conforms to that with whom they disagree most.

    Of course, to do that, they would have to be capable of some basic sympathy. Having been terribly wrong in the past I can sympathze with the tendency of someone to box their own corner, no matter how untenable the defense becomes.

    Fritz (0063c1)

  55. Fritz, Instapundit linked Lieberman strategist Dan Gerstein discussing the Amanda Marcotte hiring/resignation story. Remarks generally apropos here as well.

    …if this were an isolated incident, one could argue that the left-wing bloggers were just following one of the cardinal rules of modern hardball politics – when you can’t defend your position, go on offense and attack your critics.

    But the reality is… this is the liberal blogosphere’s standard-less operating procedure. They have decided that the best way to fight the “right-wing smear machine” that they so despise is to create an even more venomous, boundary-less, and destructive counterpart and fight ire with more ire.

    It also goes to show just how deeply most liberal bloggers believe that Republicans and conservative are morally illegitimate, and as such, any criticism or argument made by the other side is on its face corrupt and dismissible.

    [snip]

    The blogger bomb-throwing may be good for inflaming the activist base, and… for occasionally blowing up the opposition. It’s not bad for bullying your friends, either… But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.

    I self-identify as a centrist, not as a Conservative or a Republican. As long as I think that rantings such as those of LiberalAvenger.com’s sycophants are unconnected to actual Liberals, I just roll my eyes and leave it at that.

    But as Gerstein notes, more and more it appears as though the Netroots of Pandagon (and LiberalAvenger.com) are an accepted part of mainstream Liberalism. One result will be that–where consistent with my beliefs (e.g. on ‘choice’)–I’ll go with the Republican, rather than with the Netroots-aligned Democrat.

    AMac (c822c9)

  56. The Liberal Amender has a post up challenging explain wingnuts to explain or respond to something or other.

    Wow. I gotta run right over there so LA can obscenely alter my comment.

    The Commissar (5e4083)

  57. The power to edit letters traditionally has been used to make perfectly reasonable letters into nut letters at the editors’ whim.

    I fear I may have unintentionally insulted sacks of wet hair. My apologies.

    Kathryn, please show us an example of a real newspaper editing a letter to make the writer look like an idiot. I’m serious in my request, because I know that I (and very likely every other reader here) would boycott that newspaper, and encourage others to do the same.

    I’m 47, and I’ve written letters to 5 different newspapers in 4 different cities, and never once have I had the meaning of my letter changed, even when my position was the polar opposite of the newspaper’s.

    Steverino (937639)

  58. oops …

    “The Liberal Amender has a post up challenging winguts to explain …”

    The Commissar (5e4083)

  59. “The credibility of Liberal Avenger just went down the toilet.”

    What never existed can’t go anywhere, including down the toilet.

    Federal Dog (9afd6c)

  60. Amac,

    That was a excellent article. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Fritz (0063c1)

  61. Well, Kathryn also believes that Ms. Marcotte was the victim of right-wing assault, rather than someone whose own words were used to show her rabidity.

    Perhaps Ms. Cramer views the use of actual words, comments, and quotations as tantamount to altering their original meaning?

    I would guess that a newspaper that reproduced Ms. Marcotte’s ragings about the Duke lacrosse team getting away with rape would be equivalent to Liberal Avenger’s making carlito appear to be a child molestor, at least in Kathryn’s view?

    Lurking Observer (5a757b)

  62. Kathryn’s talking about the Letters From The Editors in National Lampoon. The poor dear.

    kl (15574e)

  63. Wait wait wait…

    Looking at a couple of fun links on LA’s site (I scrub with steel wool, and yet I still feel dirty… never clean… never again clean…) and I have the following:

    Kerry was smeared by Pat suggesting he didn’t release his full military record????

    I was apparently mistaken all the times I have said “It’s not slander if it’s true…”

    The above accusation is, of cource, what the liberal argument is in it’s most pure form: make things up, take the truth and edit it to firt your falsehood, and when the full truth is finally revealed it must be attacked as a mean-spirited attempt to smear someone’s good name.

    The “the troop have no armor” issue on MM’s site is a glorious example of this, as is the Amanda debacle…

    And am I the only one who hears a Monty Python skit as LA’s response to this issue has matured? ‘It didn’t happen, it’s a LIE! Well, maybe it did happen, but I don’t know who did it… Ok, I did it, but it’s perfectly OK…”

    LA’s a nut, but his readership won’t suffer one single bit. No one that cares about facts and truth reads his site.

    Well, aparently Dana does, but she’s an exception that proves the rule…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  64. Kathryn, please show us an example of a real newspaper editing a letter to make the writer look like an idiot. I’m serious in my request, because I know that I (and very likely every other reader here) would boycott that newspaper, and encourage others to do the same.

    You can only do that if you have the before and after. But one particular example from the 1970s involving, I think, the Seattle Times involved a letter to the editor written by my father, a nuclear physicist. The paper had published a silly paranoid environmental article involving a scenario that was physically impossible. He wrote in to tell them so. He prefaced the paragraph explaining why their physics was wrong with some snarky comments. They cut the physics and left the snarky comments. The resulting letter made him look like a conspiracy theorist rather than a serious scientist pointing out their scientific errors.

    Newspapers could and did edit this way because there was little or no transparency to the process.

    Whether they should have is another question.

    Kathryn Cramer (ce63af)

  65. Kathryn,

    In your comment you don’t give an example of where a newspaper actually “made up” a letter, i.e., where they attributed words to someone that weren’t actually written by that person.

    It’s already been noted that sometimes newspapers butcher letters by editing the sense out of them. However, as was said before, “inserting made-up stuff to ridicule the author is unethical.”

    Please, try again.

    Fritz (7bed81)

  66. Kathryn’s rather vague example (she’s not even sure which paper was the culprit) does not prove malice. Taking her at her word, her father’s letter was edited from the bottom up, leaving the snarky preface but taking out the physics below. An editor pressed for time could take that shortcut — I’ve seen it done. This is not best practice, but hardly malice. And needless, to say, nothing was added to the letter.

    The letter itself appears to have been ineptly written, if the first part standing alone made the writer seem loony. Letter writers ideally should write so they can be edited from the bottom up — it’s faster that way — or at least include suggested cuts. (That’s also true with newspaper stories, as I’ve learned first-hand. I didn’t jump to the conclusion the editor had it in for me. I just took extra care that in future stories all the important info was brought up as high as possible.)

    Some people see a grand conspiracy whenever their deathless prose suffers at the hands of a lesser mortal. While I can’t rule out malice (hard to prove a negative), I do know it is not standard or accepted newspaper practice.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  67. One other observation on this topic. Injured letter writers can’t hold a candle to the indignation of some reporters. These embryonic Hemingways scream about how their works of genius are ruthlessly hacked by humorless zombies. Their clever word-play and elegant allusions are excised and replaced with pedestrian tripe. A fed-up copy editor replied thusly:

    “I wouldn’t mess with your stories. Your stories are perfect, just like you. I place your stories on a pedestal and bask in their radiance. I imagine sitting with them in darkened bistros, with soft music of Gypsy violins and eunuchs for waiters, dreaming of ancient wonders and exotic poetry, sipping fine wines and rejoicing in the feel of silk on skin. Why would I change a word of your stories?”

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  68. Some people see a grand conspiracy whenever their deathless prose suffers at the hands of a lesser mortal.

    Indeed.

    Kathryn Cramer (ce63af)

  69. I’m shocked and appalled that people might edit my lofty thoughts after I dispatch them over the intertubes. Where, oh where has the civility gone?

    Ann(e) Althouse (3389fc)

  70. Where, oh where has the civility gone?

    Getting an early jump on spring break at Cancun.

    McGehee (5664e1)

  71. Getting an early jump on spring break at Cancun.

    Drinking it’s weight in Tequila, crowd surfing to a jazz band, sticking it someplace strange, and waking up in a puddle of it’s own vomit?

    Where liberals are concerned, that sounds about right…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  72. After what LA did to Carlito, I wouldn’t ever take the risk of making a comment at LA’s hatefest of a website. But I found something interesting over in the comments section that could help explain LA’s motives in this mess.

    It seems that although LA was the one who originally altered Carlito’s comment, LA had nothing to do with deleting that slander. That explains LA’s complete lack of remorse over his vile action. It seems the only person with even the slightest regard for ethics, and I do mean slight as his comment makes clear, is SGO.

    “sgo Says:
    February 16th, 2007 at 11:58 pm ”

    “(in a dishonest, 3-days-late-being-”forgot to strikeout text”-defended-by-your-tech-guy-kind-of-way).”

    “Dude, I totally take offense to that.”

    “I tried to do you right by killing it before it got picked up by a search bot. (patterico even notes that he couldn’t find it on google – that’s why he had to use a screenshot)”

    “You guys pitched a fit and reposted it yourself ( and reposted on several wingslut sites) and now forever on the net you will find your handle, your screen name, associated with it – you wouldn’t have had you guys not freaked out. You could have emailed LA and said “not cool man, please remove it” and he would have.”

    “As for all this bitchin about “comment editing” well I’ll say that you wingsluts are talking out your collective asses. You don’t know this blog, we’ll disemvowel your comments, scratch them out, troll blather them and in some extreme cases we’ll edit them(using a fucking strikeout).”

    “Y’all seem to think you are due some kind of respect….well you aren’t.”

    “You are the experts at personal attacks, misrepresentation, selective quoting, quote fabrication and manufactured outrage.”

    “You guys created this vile environment and if ya don’t like it then you can just fuck off.”

    Yikes!

    Brad (dd6fbe)

  73. Follow up

    From SGO’s position on ethical behavior, it shows the wellspring from which slanders such as the faked Texas ANG documents emerge. People like SGO don’t care if they win by ugly means, the only thing that matters to them is winning power. Power over you.

    Brad (dd6fbe)

  74. Huh… Not due respect, eh?

    I’ll make most certain to be extra-respectful to SGO… Nothing pisses off liberals more than when they are unable to drag the debate down to their level… Allow the to wallow in the muck and filth, and we’ll soon see who carries respect.

    As for us creating the vile environment, we weren’t the party that started the trend of insults to try and shout down the oposition…

    Toe to the line, SGO… Let us see who wins, eh?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  75. The letter itself appears to have been ineptly written

    Yet more proof for the theory of heredity.

    kl (15574e)

  76. This is very interesting sitee

    Britney (dc4414)

  77. Check out my new site:)!

    Helga (0f92c0)

  78. Hi! Definitely nice and neat site you got there.s

    Bush (f717b2)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1736 secs.